German football expert Raphael Honigstein believes that Liverpool have a ready-made replacement for assistant manager Zeljko Buvac, should he not return from his leave of absence.
It was announced on Monday that Buvac would not be working with Liverpool until the end of the season for 'personal reasons', with shock reports subsequently linking the Bosnian with taking over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Many people have expressed their fears that Buvac's exit could trigger a derailment of Liverpool's season, amid mounting speculation that the Bosnian has clashed with long-term managerial colleague Jürgen Klopp.
But Honigstein dismissed these fears and suggested that Buvac will not be too big of a miss for Liverpool.
“I have noticed that Peter Krawietz – who’s the number three – has taken a more active role in recent years,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily, as quoted by the Star. “His job description, I guess, is more towards opposition scouting but it doesn’t end there.
“He does a lot of video analysis during games and he’s the guy you often see sprinting into the dressing room at half time because he’ll take that two or three minutes to prepare something he wants to show the players. He is very close to what normal number twos do.
“The three of them together have been a great winning package and I’m sure they’ll miss Buvac’s input at some level but perhaps not enough."
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Like Buvac, Krawietz started working under Klopp at Mainz, subsequently following him to both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool. His expertise in scouting and analysis earned him the nickname 'The Eye' from Klopp, and Liverpool fans will be hoping he can step into Buvac's shoes until the end of the season.
Rumours over Buvac's future will be put on the back burner come Wednesday however, as Liverpool look to defend the 5-2 lead they established over Roma last week in their Champions League semi-final first leg clash.